A cash injection of €1.7m is being ploughed into tackling drug misuse among young people, it was announced today.
A café and sports and community facilities across the Dublin area are to benefit from the funds, with the primary aim of reaching those ’at risk’ in disadvantaged areas and steering them away from the dangers of drugs.
While youngsters in Ringsend, East Wall, Tallaght, Bray, Ballyfermot, Clondalkin and Darndale are expected to reap the rewards of the financial provision, it emerged just three gardaí in Tipperary are dedicated to the county’s divisional drug unit – covering a population of 130,000.
Slamming the figures, Tipperary Councillor Phil Prendergast said: “We know our communities are awash with drugs. We know the effects drugs have on communities.
“Cocaine is readily available and has become the main hard drug in the country and is not confined to any particular social class or geographical area.
"It has become the drug of choice for many people. Gardaí estimate that every seizure they make is only 10% of what is coming through. It is just the tip of the iceberg.”
She called for the Government to start taking the threat of drugs seriously by allocating more gardaí.
Noel Ahern TD, Minster of the State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs with responsibility for the National Drugs Strategy, welcomed the €1,782,860 worth of funding, commissioned from the Young Person’s Facilities and Services Fund.
Launching the drugs prevention programme, which will develop and staff high-quality youth facilities city wide, he said: “This allocation will bring the total commitment from the Young People’s Facilities and Services Fund to almost €99m and will allow for the employment of a further 21 youth staff to work with the most at risk young people.”
Projects to be funded will include an all-weather playing field in Ringsend, a new sports floor in the East Wall/North Port youth facility, a youth café in Tallaght, and youth provisions in Bray, Ballyfermot, Darndale and Clondalkin.